A day in the life - Team Studer

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yesterday I woke up with a mission in mind - to document our day through iPhone photos to give my readers a look into what happens here at the Studer Zoo on a normal day.  (thanks, Shelly, for the suggestion!)

When I began considering a 'day in the life post' I had also just read this from Brenna over at Suburban Snapshots and was feeling very much like her.  I didn't want this post to be about how clean my house never is and how amazingly behaved my kids never are, and how I rarely eat perfectly and exercise and we don't  do educational things all day with lots of no tv.  No!  It couldn't be a 'perfect day,' because that's not benefiting anyone...and also its a big fat lie.  I don't ever want any of my readers (especially Mums) to come here and think, wow -what a perfect life she has, she knows what she's doing.  um, no.  It's wonderful and beautiful and inappropriately lucky - yes.  But perfect, heck no.

So I was thinking maybe I'd do a 'Bad day in the life' and show all the annoying, worst, usually funny in hindsight bits of the day.  But it sort of all shakes out that each day is a little good and a little bad.  So here you have it, a good and bad day at the Studer house.  No pretend stuff, just the real stuff that happens.

Yesterday started as a good day because I wokenup before my alarm goes off (yay!) to get some time by myself.  Unfortunately, Grey woke up (in our bed) and so I laid back down with him to try to get him to fall back asleep.  He didn't, so we headed downstairs to catch the brilliant sunrise from atop our mountain and let the dogs out.

Grey got shipped to the couch with a blankie and NickJr. and I headed to the kitchen to consult my planner and since it was Wednesday, I got to work on some of my Novel project.  I'm taking an awesome e-course for novel writing and had my first lesson to do.  It was exhilarating and I was note-taking and brainstorming like a maniac.  Grey came in and found me writing and then was inspired to 'write' some notes himself.  He announced that his notes said, "Dear Dad, you are my best Dad." Then Gemmi wakes up and the kids get some makeshift breakfast (toaster strudel) while I finish my novel assignment, and clean up the kitchen.

Shortly after breakfast, Grey hit himself in the face with his ninja turtle numchucks and needed ice and consoling, then we heading upstairs to 'get ready for the day,' (change out of jammies).  I changed the bedsheets (wednesday chore) and the kids ran around and jumped on every single bed while doing so.  Downstairs we do 'homework' (less than 10 minutes using pens, paper, scissors, and stickers) and then it's outside we go before the kids lose their minds.  Trampoline football with Grey while Gemmi hangs on my back and tears a sponge football to shreds and tries to give the pieces to the dogs.  Approximately 12 whining sessions about any of the following:  Gemmi doesn't want the zipper closed on the trampoline, Grey doesn't want me to take a picture, Grey accidentally jumped on Gem's hand, Gem wants me to hold her, Gem wants me to throw the football at her, Grey doesn't want Gem to play football, Grey wants me to only pretend like I'm going to tackle him - but not actually tackle him.

After everyone is sufficiently sweaty and cranky, we head back in for lunch.  Doc McStuffins holds the children captive while I make lunch:  Orzo spaghetti (easier for the kids to eat than regular spaghetti), yogurt, and popcorn.  While the kids sit still for no more than 10 minutes, I shove popcorn and leftover orzo into my mouth while gulping down cold morning coffee.  I also start taking down the kitchen curtains to wash (fall cleaning list item).  Gem comes in to 'help' because she's over eating lunch...and sitting...and watching Doc...and basically she's over everything.

Then, my dear friends, this is when the photos go blank because we all had a mini-meltdown fiesta.  Here's how it all went down:

I told Grey I was taking Gem up for her nap, please be quiet.
Gem and I read a book and then she whined about wanting to do 30 other things besides taking a nap (pointing at every.single.thing.in.her.room).  I still said no, 'time a night-night'
Grey then burst through her bedroom door announcing he wanted to sit with us on the rocking chair too.

For 2 minutes, with both of my kids on my lap on the rocking chair, under a blankie with the sound machine softly playing 'spring nights' noises, I thought "this is just wonderful...my two babies."

and then they started goofing around and laughing and talking and tickling each other and I could see we were headed for a downward spiral where no one was going to take a rest.
I told them if they could be quiet they could sleep in the same room (Grey on the floor) Gem in her bed.
But no.
ya know, how you just get to that point where you think, "i can not negotiate with a 3year old for one more second.  I can not hear this whining for one more second.  I just can not do it!!"

so then, Grey got shipped to his room, Gem was left in her room, and I went to my room and put my face in the pillow and thought about how I am such a crap mom for 5 minutes until I heard my Mum pull in the driveway.  thank the good Lord above.  Wednesdays means Abba comes to visit.

Abba listened to me talk about how I sometimes feel like I'm doing an awful job and that sometimes it just feels like so much pressure to be this perfect mother who does all these great things (bento box lunches, organic food, homeschooling, house deep-cleaning and super organizing, bedtime routines, etc) and doesn't do lots of 'horrible things' (yelling, co-sleeping, too many toys, too much screen time, etc).

But she told me that back in 'her mum days' they didn't have parenting styles that they had to publicly announce and prove they were 'with' and that it was like a 'get through the day' sort of parenting and then someday it will pass and you'll be in a new, different phase that you'll have to adjust to.  It was helpful and complete with a 'Mums make it better with a hug' and we went up and played with the kids until Abba took them outside and I got a new cup of coffee and breathed in the quiet.

Abba helped put Gem to nap and Grey got the iPad up in his room for 'quiet time.'  I tossed pictures in the kids' baby books that had recently been ordered.  Then I finished taking down and washing the curtains, vacuumed, and  mopped (wednesday chore).

I said goodbye to Abba and then Booboo got out of quiet time.  I helped him set up things to lasso all around the house and then B surprised us when he came home from work (earlier than normal).  Things slipped into a weird haze-as they usually do at this time of day- so I didn't take any photos (!!) from the evening after B got home.  bleh.

Briefly though - Gem got up, we had dinner, the kids ran around like crazy, Annie (the musical from my childhood - love it) was playing on tv in the background, the kids put on a parade for us, Brandon told me I had only one chance to take him up on his offer of letting me get a shower completely alone (which I greedily took), I fed the cats, and we hung up the washed curtains.

Even though I don't have pictures from last night, it usually looks like this (from many a night at our house).  Basically lots of moving around from the kids while B and I wonder when bedtime will get here.

At bedtime, we took the kids up to change into jammies.  The kids get a last chance release-of-energy burst beforehand and they danced, read books, tackled the red donkey bouncer, and climbed over B to flip into Gem's bed 100 times.  Then I put Gemmi to sleep, B took down the garbage, and then I put Grey to sleep in his own bed (with full knowledge he'd be in ours by 3am that night...just like every other night).

Sometimes our days look exactly like yesterday.  Sometimes we do things to mix it up - like visit the playground or go to a party (like we are today!  Sophia's birthday party!) Sometimes it's a worse day than yesterday because kids are teething or sick or Me or B is sick.  Sometimes it's a better day because I got to run in the morning, or Daddy's off, or it's a beautiful weather day, or I have more patience than normal.  But usually it's like yesterday.  We just get through it - absolutely loving certain moments and then praying for other moments to pass as quickly as they can.

Sometimes we feel really confident in our parenting and sometimes it feels like we are just getting the crap beat out of us.  Just Good and Bad -every day - day in and day out.

farewell summer

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It is fall.  And not just because the calendar says so, but because we have golden rod up here on the mountaintop as far as the eye can see.  When we played outside yesterday, I made the kids wear hats atop their shaved heads.  I suppose it's time to say farewell to another summer and all its fun.

We clocked many an hour in the backyard with our own various water-type fun

And even when it wasn't great weather, we still played in water in the backyard - like this time when it rained for a solid 5 days and we just had.to.get.outside.and.run.

The dogs and kids got spoiled since Uncle Jonny was living with us three nights a week.

Gemma built cairns all over the place like a little ancient alien child

We celebrated Father's Day for our best dad and grandpas in the whole world

We celebrated the fourth of July

Had a bridesmaids luncheon and dress-shopping adventure for my sister's wedding

We made an ambitious family trip to visit a local cavern and learned an important parenting lesson about taking small children into places without easy escape routes

We helped celebrate our baby cousin on the way with Cara and Bruce when they were able to visit all the way from Washington state!  And Mimi got to squeeze all of her grandkids and great grandkids into one pic!

We sang, danced, played, and laughed at our Goddaughter Mallory's & her little brother Hunter's birthday party

We enjoyed the company of our extended family at our reunions

We spent the day having fun, celebrating Abba's birthday, and playing games at Abba & Chum's Horseshoe tournament.  Where we also helped collect food to be donated to the local food bank!

We went to the Bedford County fair with the Fiore crew and ate snow cones and saw a lot of animals
 ( #fiodercrew on instagram)

We visited Living Treasures zoo with the Burghs and had lots of fun feeding the animals and singing "I Like to Move It, Move It" at the lemurs.

And we took a 7mile walk into the woods to take the dogs for a swim and set up Brandon's trailcam.

And I turned 30!  After my pre-birthday surprise mania (including SCF weekend, a surprise party, and a thirty years tribute video!), I still had my actual birthday which included a cookies-in-bed-breakfast delivered by Greyson, lots of flowers, cheering on the Valley athletes (and our coach) at the Rally in the Valley community event, and then a sleepover in Allentown PA with Brandon to see Kipp Moore/Toby Keith play at the Allentown fair (which also included an upside down fair ride which was hilarious)

And the biggest birthday surprise of all came from a secret email address created by my sisters that was filled up with emails from my family and friends for me to read.  I mean, honestly.  bawlfest of America.  #luckiestgirlalive  (thank you to everyone who sent a message.  I am slowly making my way through them and replying back.  love you all xxoxo)

And now we are headed into our favorite season of all.  Already visiting more fairs, cheering on our favorite football teams, and pulling out our hoodies and closed-toed shoes.  Happy Fall to you all xxxox